2009 Old Plantation Qing Xin from Norbu
Fall harvest tea from Jenai Township, Nantou County, Taiwan
Leaves are dark, tightly rolled, some stems, toasty dark tart scent.
1.5 grams of tea into 60mL gaiwan, water 180 degrees, rinse x 15 seconds, then 20 second steep: first impression is spicy, interesting, but oops, before I can form a proper opinion, I am thirsty and it is gooood, gulp, gone. 2nd infusion is a little spicy, a little sweet, a lot toasty-roasty, but there is a smoothness here even in the 2nd infusion that often takes 4 or 5 infusions to achieve in a more assertive Wuyi rock tea or even my old supermarket brand Ti Kuan Yin. And there’s no sense that a bitterness or astringency is just around the corner if I am careless with times or temps.
I was interrupted and have lost count of the infusions, but I am pretty sure the current one is 9 or 10. The flavor is more dilute now, but there is still some sweetness and a little something else that is very Ti-Kuan-Yin-like. And the flavor was smooth but still quite definite out to the 7th or 8th infusion—that smooth 2nd infusion carried over without turning to water at the 3rd or 4th.
After the infusions, the leaves are unrolled, but still very crumply and twisted, with a dark brown color and a charcoal scent: with some determination they can be coaxed and pressed and flattened into medium sized, quite intact leaves.
Nice nice tea, need to get my order in before I post this, people order it all, and Greg runs out! [done] It really fills the itch I've been trying to scratch with several other teas, without complete success: a more refined version of that supermarket Ti Kuan Yin that I've drunk forever and a day.